New York Giants ended their season today, losing to Philadelphia Eagles, 23-11 at Meadowlands. Eagles are now the only team to beat Giants twice at home in one season. Someone on Fox said this was the first 23-11 score in NFL history, but I was unable to verify that.
Giants offense was not creative, or productive, today. Giants only converted 3/13 third downs, and 2/4 fourth downs. I groaned several times during the game, when Giants failed to convert critical downs, on idiotic plays.
I cannot understand how Giants, especially with an extra week off, could not devise a better offensive game plan.
To be fair, Giants were missing their two best offensive players. Plaxico Burress should have been there. Brandon Jacobs returned, after missing three games with a PCL injury, but was clearly not healthy. Jacobs gained 27 yards on Giants best play of the game, with 92 yards on 20 carries for the game. However, Jacobs was on the sidelines, for much of the game, when Giants used Derrick Ward, who was ineffective.
This is probably the last game Jacobs and Ward played together as Giants, since they are both free agents. I think Jacobs is the best running back in NFL, and I would be surprised if he does not return to Giants next season.
Eli Manning was erratic. He completed 15 of 29 passes for 169 yards, with two interceptions, for a quarterback rating of 33. For comparison, Manning’s rating was 111 for playoffs and Super Bowl last year.
Manning delivered two nice passes, to Darcy Johnson, and Domenik Hixon, that netted half of his passing yards. Giant receivers were not dropping passes, they could not reach them.
Manning also blew a weird quarterback sneak on a fourth–and–two — instead of handing off to Brandon Jacobs.
Giants defense was awesome in first half. At one point, Eagles were 1/12 on third down conversions.
Brian Westbrook was held to 36 yards on 18 carries for the game. Unfortunately, you cannot expect to win, when your defense is on the field for most of the game.
Mistakes cost Giants the game. Despite poor offense, Giants could have won, if Carney had not missed field goals, and Manning had one less interception.
Antonio Pierce continued to irk me, with an “illegal hands to the face” penalty, that kept an Eagles drive going.
I hope defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo returns, but would not be surprised if he becomes head coach of New York Jets.
I miss seeing Plaxico Burruss in a Giants uniform, but his fate will be decided in court, on March 31. I hope Giants teach him, and his buddy Pierce, to behave themselves, if they both return.
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